Did we just enter the age of extractive democracy?

by VanessaVaile

This echoes/parallels Tom Engelhardt’s recent “TomGram” (also reprinted in AlterNet), “Tomgram: Engelhardt, Is a New Political System Emerging in This Country?” http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175970/tomgram%3A_engelhardt%2C_is_a_new_political_system_emerging_in_this_country/

Bryan Alexander

extraction_by FishhawkLet me turn my blogging in a somewhat more political direction, at least for this post.  Working on higher education as a futurist, I have to wrangle dozens of major contextual factors from the worlds of politics, economics, and society.  In the course of doing so a hypothesis has come to mind, and I want to try it out here.

The idea is that American society is becoming an extractive democracy.

Short version: our economy and political institutions are now constructed to draw money and other resources from the lower half of society in order to transfer it to the wealthiest.  It’s a kind of plutocracy.

Longer version?  Let me draw together the intertwining strands.  Ten of them, in fact.  Ferguson will play an exemplary role.

First, local governments have ramped up their extraction of money from citizens through fees and bureaucracy.  This is probably obvious to most readers, but let…

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